Police interrogation of youth

Allison D. Redlich, Steven Drizin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    12 Scopus citations


    In legal parlance, “double jeopardy” refers to being held responsible twice for substantially the same crime. The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution disallows this, essentially holding that the state only gets one bite at the apple. The term “double jeopardy” has also been used to describe several situations in which two characteristics or two circumstances place people at risk in the legal system, perhaps because of the double entendre. For example, Professor Thomas Grisso (2004) recently published a book, entitled Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Illness, citing that the combination of young age and the presence of mental health problems among justice-involved youth pose special problems for treatment in custodial settings, due process, and public safety. Similarly, a recent report to Congress was entitled Double Jeopardy: Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System (CMHS, 1995), examining the double-sided problem of the reactions of people with mental illness to the criminal justice system and the reactions of the system to this population. In the present chapter, our focus is on two vulnerability characteristics - young age and mental health - that can place people in jeopardy in the interrogation room. The jeopardy that exists, and for which there are not suitable safeguards, is the risk of police eliciting false and coerced confessions. Moreover, once confessions or other guilty-knowledge statements are made, the risk of further miscarriages of justice, such as wrongful incarcerations and wrongful convictions, increases substantially.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Mental Health Needs of Young Offenders
    Subtitle of host publicationForging Paths Toward Reintegration and Rehabilitation
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511543913
    ISBN (Print)9780521612906
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)

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